General information: First Jewish presence: 1710; peak Jewish population: 115 in 1861 (5.4% of the total population); Jewish population in 1933: 35
Summary: In 1789, the Jewish community of Laubach inaugurated a synagogue at 25 Untere Lippe, replacing an earlier prayer room; the synagogue was enlarged at the end of the 19th century (to contain 48 seats for men, 30 for women) and renovated in 1929. A Jewish elementary school was opened in 1823, but it closed shortly afterwards, at which point the community began to employ teachers who also served as ritual slaughterers and cantors. In 1906, a local pharmacist purchased the mikveh—it had been built in 1811—dismantled it and put it back together in the garden behind his pharmacy, where it still stands. Laubach’s Jewish cemetery, on Hungener Strasse, was consecrated in or around the year 1800. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue’s interior was destroyed; Torah scrolls, ritual objects and furniture were loaded onto the community’s hearse, taken to a square and set on fire. Six Jewish homes were ransacked, and all remaining Jewish men were sent to Buchenwald. Twelve Jews emigrated (eight went to the United States), 17 relocated within Germany and two left for unknown destinations. The last four Jews of Laubach, and a family of four from Ruppertsburg (an affiliated community), were deported to Poland and to Theresienstadt in 1942. At least 14 Laubach Jews and seven from Ruppertsburg perished in the Shoah. A utilities building, to which a memorial plaque was affixed in 1978, was later built on the former synagogue site.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL, PK-HNF
Located in: hesse